NASCAR veteran Mark Martin joining Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012
Mark Martin will drive a limited schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing starting in 2012 under a two-year deal announced by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Friday.
Martin, 52, will replace David Reutimann, who is being released from MWR after he drives in the final three races of this season, including Sunday's contest at Texas Motor Speedway.
Martin is in his last season with Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick previously announced that Kasey Kahne, currently driving for the Red Bull team, will take over Martin's No. 5 Chevrolet next season.
"It is very rare that a young organization gets an opportunity to hire a driver with Mark's incredible talent, experience and insight into what it takes to be a winner," team co-owner Michael Waltrip said in a statement.
The team said Martin would drive MWR's No. 00 Toyota in 25 of the Cup series' 36 races in each of the next two years, while Waltrip would drive in five races and "a combination of drivers" would drive in the remaining events.
MWR previously announced that Clint Bowyer, currently driving for Richard Childress Racing, would also join its team next year.
Martin has won 40 Cup races in 827 starts over nearly three decades in stock-car racing's premier division, and his career race winnings total nearly $85 million. Reutimann has won two races in 168 Cup starts for MWR.
-- Jim Peltz
Photo: Mark Martin talks with a crew member Oct. 22 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Credit: Terry Renna / Associated Press